On paper, it was a matchup that didn't seem fair.

Marquez North, who is listed at 6-foot-4, 215 pounds, versus 5-foot-11, 165-pound Emmanuel Moseley – a true freshman still getting his feet wet.

Nonetheless, the two lined up against one another to kickoff Thursday's spring practice.

As soon as the whistle blew, the 2013 freshman first team All-SEC wide receiver made his way to the back corner of the endzone, and as the ball fluttered toward him, he leaped, attempting to make another tightly-contested catch – something the young wideout has become known for.

But as he skied, so did Moseley.

The result: an incomplete pass.

For the early enrollee, however, this wasn't the first time he turned heads. He's been doing it to his coaching staff all spring.

"Emmanuel Moseley is the one individual at corner that continually impresses," Tennessee head coach Butch Jones said. "He's extremely competitive – he fights for the ball in the air. (He) is like a sponge; he takes everything that coach (Willie) Martinez tells him and tries to apply it to his game.

"We just need to get him bigger and stronger to compete at a high level come August and into September and into football season. I really like what he is bringing to the table."

Moseley is currently vying for the open outside cornerback position opposite of Cam Sutton – occupied last season by Justin Coleman, who is moving to the nickel.

Tightening loose ends

The tight end position for the Vols in 2013 was practicaly non-existent.

Overall, two tight ends – Brendan Downs and A.J. Branisel – combined to catch 15 passes for 98 yards and three touchdowns, a far cry from the 45 catches, 722 yards and eight touchdowns that Travis Kelce amassed in Jones' final season as the head coach at Cincinnati.

To improve the team's play at the tight end position, Tennessee will be looking toward two true freshmen – Ethan Wolf and Daniel Helm – to lead the way at the position.

"They are every bit as good as we thought they were in the recruiting process," Jones said. "Both of them are going to play as true freshmen.

"They are extremely competitive. They're very intelligent. They're tough. They're tough-minded and they can catch the football. They're both our playmakers on offense for us, so I've been very excited about those two individuals."

Carr to O-Line?

Sophomore Jason Carr returned to practice on Thursday after missing out on the first nine spring practices with an injury to his hand that required him to wear a cast.

His return, however, brought up an interesting topic: a position change.

Carr played in the first three games of 2013 on the defensive line for the Vols, but following practice, Jones admitted he might be making a transition to play tackle on the offensive side of the trenches.

"First of all, it's where every individual can help you and help the team," Jones said in reference to Carr. "We'll make that assessment."

But with only five practices remaining, Carr has little time to make up what he's missed out on this spring.

"He will be able to play and he's one of those individuals right now that the clock is ticking for him," Jones said. "The sense of urgency really has to pick up for Jason."

Mix-on it up

Despite having been away from the football field for a year, Dimarya Mixon has impressed this spring.

After graduating from West Mesquite High School in Mesquite, Texas, in 2012, Mixon signed with Nebraska but was ineligible to play and sat out a year before signing with Tennessee.

But while the young defensive lineman has impressed, it's apparent that he still has a ways to go.

"He's just learning the discipline that it takes but also the mentality that you have to have- snap in and snap out," Jones said. "He's done a very good job, but again, he is young and he is developing, but the thing is, we don't have time right now to take our time to just sit them and develop them."

Getting schooled

Senior running back Marlin Lane missed Thursday's practice due to a prior engagement.

"He had a test and a meeting with a professor," Jones said. "Academics always come first in our program."